Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

6/5/2009 (5 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Catholic Church will not change its position on the nature of marriage because it cannot. Truth is not up for grabs.

The reason that marriage and the family founded upon it has become the foundation of civil societies across ethnic, geographical, religious and racial communities is because it is an institution revealed by the Natural Law. It is not some social construct which can be discarded, redefined or ever replaced.

The reason that marriage and the family founded upon it has become the foundation of civil societies across ethnic, geographical, religious and racial communities is because it is an institution revealed by the Natural Law. It is not some social construct which can be discarded, redefined or ever replaced.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/5/2009 (5 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) – The news is filled with efforts through legislation or the use of the courts to undermine marriage by expanding its definition to somehow include homosexual partnerships. Anyone who questions whether such efforts serve the common good are increasingly dismissed as “homophobic” and intolerant.

However, namecalling will not change our position on this matter nor will it make us go away. At the forefront of the movement to protect marriage are Catholics who believe what the Church teaches. Our insisting that marriage remain what it has always been is adding to our precarious place in the culture these days. However, make no mistake; the Catholic Church will not change its position on the nature of marriage because it cannot. Truth is not up for grabs, no matter what the growing “dictatorship of relativism” throws our way.

Among the clearest summaries of the teaching of our Church on this matter was set forth by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) in the “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons” promulgated in 1986. Here are just a few of the clearly stated insights: “The Church, obedient to the Lord who founded her and gave to her the sacramental life, celebrates the divine plan of the loving and live-giving union of men and women in the sacrament of marriage. It is only in the marital relationship that the use of the sexual faculty can be morally good. A person engaging in homosexual behavior therefore acts immorally.”

“To choose someone of the same sex for one's sexual activity is to annul the rich symbolism and meaning, not to mention the goals, of the Creator's sexual design. Homosexual activity is not a complementary union, able to transmit life; and so it thwarts the call to a life of that form of self-giving which the Gospel says is the essence of Christian living. This does not mean that homosexual persons are not often generous and giving of themselves; but when they engage in homosexual activity they confirm within themselves a disordered sexual inclination which is essentially self-indulgent”.

“As in every moral disorder, homosexual activity prevents one's own fulfillment and happiness by acting contrary to the creative wisdom of God. The Church, in rejecting erroneous opinions regarding homosexuality, does not limit but rather defends personal freedom and dignity realistically and authentically understood.”

What is clear upon reading this letter, the Sacred Scripture, the Catholic Catechism and the clear, unbroken teaching of the Church is that Catholics who are faithful cannot and will not accept the effort to undermine authentic marriage. Thus, those who follow the teaching of the Church may be on a collision course with the current approach to this matter being embraced by the US Administration.

President Barack Obama has declared June "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month" and issued a Presidential proclamation which all but elevates practicing homosexuals to being given a suspect class classification under Civil Rights law. Among the Presidents comments he noted: “The LGBT rights movement has achieved great progress, but there is more work to be done. LGBT youth should feel safe to learn without the fear of harassment, and LGBT families and seniors should be allowed to live their lives with dignity and respect. My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans.” His appointments of openly activist homosexual leaders to significant positions in his administration only further signals where this administration may be headed.

This does not change the truth. Homosexual sexual acts, even if engaged in with one partner for a long time, can never be the equivalent of a marriage, no matter what any court or legislature says. The reason that marriage and the family founded upon it has become the foundation of civil societies across ethnic, geographical, religious and racial communities is because it is an institution revealed by the Natural Law. It is not some social construct which can be discarded, redefined or ever replaced. Efforts of some within the homosexual movement to equate how one engages in non-marital sexual acts with a member of the same sex with being a member of a particular race, or gender and thereby a “protected class” for civil rights purposes is legally and socially dangerous. One is a status; the other involves behavior, a chosen behavior and a lifestyle.

Some maintain that same sex attraction is a genetic predisposition. This is disputed. Even if it were the case, that does not give homosexual activity any more of a claim to being given a special civil rights status. Should we really give disordered appetites civil rights status under the law? Let’s consider an absurd example. I have struggled most of my life with fighting obesity. I am on the “winning end” lately, but just give me another Holiday! A very good argument can be made that obesity also has a genetic predisposition. However, I will fight it my whole life because it is unhealthy. It is a disordered appetite. Should we as a Nation decide that fat people have a civil right to be fat? Should those who insist that they resist that “genetic predisposition” to overeat be called Fata-phobic?

Disordered appetites - and the actions engaged in by those who give into them – simply should not be called civil rights. Certainly, those who succumb to them should be treated with the human dignity that they deserve and not be discriminated against. However, that is because they are human not because of their behavior! Homosexual sexual acts are simply homosexual sexual acts. Our bodies do not lie, they speak the language written within their constitution and confirmed in the Natural Law which binds us all.

Marriage between a man and a woman, intended for life, open to children, and the family founded upon it, is not up for grabs. Nor is it an antiquated institution. It is the first society, first government, first school, first economy and first church. Strong marriages and the families founded upon them pave the path to the future. Continuing efforts to use the Police Power of the State to give the same legal status as a marriage to homosexual paramours and force the entire society to recognize their relationships as equivalent to a marriage do not serve the common good.

I made similar comments in a past article. In response, one homosexual activist responded, “Deacon Keith Fournier you are an under-evolved societal retard. But don't worry. Progressive thinking will sweep you, and all those like you, away.” It is interesting that he did not engage the claims I made or my positions. Rather, he resorted to personal attacks. I do not share his assessment of my place on his evolutionary cycle. I find his use of derogatory language used to insult our neighbors who are learning disabled to be offensive. But most importantly I absolutely reject the claim that people who want to eliminate true marriage by attempting to change its definition are the “progressives’ of the current age.

Homosexual activists who oppose marriage - and that is precisely what the so called “Marriage Equality” or “Freedom to Marry” movement actually does - are the ones who want to turn the clock back and impede progress. They are “Regressives” not “Progressives.” The foundation for the real progress made in Western civilization is partly because of the special recognition and place given to the first society of the family. That family is founded upon authentic marriage between one man and one woman. It is the first mediating institution of civil society. Marriage and family ground our organizing vision of the broader society and informs our philosophy of governance, including the proper place of the principle of subsidiarity, deferring to the family first.

Marriage has been given this privileged and protected legal and social status for a good reason, it serves the common good. It is the primary civilizing institution, constituted for the bearing and caring of children in an environment wherein they can best be nurtured, loved, socialized, schooled in the virtues and prepared for life in broader communities. Marriage has long been accepted as having been revealed in the Natural Law. Yes, religious traditions, including my own, build upon that Natural Law through revelation. However, the effort to call the Catholic insistence upon protecting marriage as between a man and a woman a “religious” position in order to marginalize and dismiss the argument is at best disingenuous and at worst anti-religious bigotry.

Should Disordered Appetites be Civil Rights? The answer is a resounding “No!”

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Supreme Court justice Sotomayor warns about drones encroaching on American way of life Watch

Image of Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that she's particularly troubled by the potential for commercial and government drones to compromise personal privacy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Unmanned surveillance planes called drones pose a threat to the privacy of American citizens, warns Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said. Speaking to students at Oklahoma City University's law school, Sotomayor says that frightening changes in technology ... continue reading


Obama says Islamic State 'is not Islamic' - what are they, then? Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama vowed to "degrade and destroy" the Islamic State insurgency in Iraq and Syria, He intends to do so with airstrikes and a minimal military presence on the ground. The president also declared that the Islamic State terrorists "are not Islamic." ... continue reading


Obama vows to attack Islamic State militants 'wherever they exist' Watch

Image of There has been some progress made against the group. After more than 150 U.S. airstrikes in Iraq in the past month, Iraqi and Kurdish forces have halted the Islamic State advance.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama has vowed to attack Islamic State militants "wherever they exist." Obama will be sending a limited U.S. military presence of 475 personnel. The president also declared that the United States will act in concert with a broad coalition ... continue reading


Opinion: We Need a Blue Collar Conservative like Rick Santorum in the 2016 Presidential Campaign Watch

Image of Rick Santorum is not an establishment candidate. He threatens establishment leaders in both major political parties. he has always played the role of the underdog and been counted out by the many self professed experts. That is one of the greatest assets he would bring to the 2016 Presidential campaign. He has the potential to draw voters from across party lines and help to forge a new governing coalition which can resuscitate the American dream and set us on a course to brighter future. I sincerely hope he runs.

By Keith A. Fournier

Rick Santorum is a statesman in an age of salesmen - and women. He is a man with a chest.  I will be watching his movements over the next few months. If he decides to run, and I hope he does, he will bring along with him into his presidential campaign a ... continue reading


Pelosi favors sweeping regulations to save net neutrality and ban Internet 'fast lanes' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's an unpopular stand for many Republicans, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she wants to give federal regulators sweeping new powers over Internet access. It's a necessity in order to save net neutrality and protect Internet users, she says. ... continue reading


READY TO STRIKE: President Obama prepared to use airstrikes in Syria Watch

Image of President Obama believes he needs formal congressional approval to take that action, according to people who have spoken with the president recently.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

From admitting that he had no policy in regards to Syria, U.S. President Barack Obama is now ready for some clear decisive action. The president says that he is prepared to use U.S. military airstrikes in Syria in order to defeat the militant jihadist group ... continue reading


Real cost of Obamacare - 350,000 jobs loss and premium hikes for small businesses Watch

Image of Individual year-round employees at businesses with 50 to 99 workers lost $935 annually, while those at firms with 20 to 49 workers are out an average of $827.50 per person in take-home pay.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a new analysis of the effects of the health-care reform law, Obamacare has taken a toll on small businesses. According to a new study, there have been millions of dollars in reduced pay and hundreds of thousands fewer jobs. In short - many ... continue reading


More emails 'lost' connected to Lois Lerner case Watch

Image of IRS teacher Lois Lerner, who was placed on leave and has since retired, has emerged as the key figure in congressional investigations.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the most recent development, the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS says it has lost emails from five more employees' part of congressional probes into the treatment of conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Team Clinton turns on Obama! Foreign policy in new book dismissed as 'feckless' Watch

Image of A scathing new book from a member of Team Clinton takes President Obama to task for an unfocused foreign policy.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The honeymoon appears over between top U.S. Democratic alliances, the Clintons and the Obama administration. A member of the Clinton kitchen cabinet is out with a new book that slams U.S. policy as "muddled, irresolute, and even feckless." Doug Schoen's takes ... continue reading


Is hummus too fatty? First lady Michelle O's diet plan driving kids away from school lunches Watch

Image of As championed by Michelle Obama, the new school diet plan is fraught with loopholes.

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

First lady Michelle Obama has rolled up her sleeves and launched a campaign against childhood obesity by devising a diet that eliminate high-fat foods from school lunches . The trouble is, kids find the approved school lunches too bland and are seeking ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 12:12-14, 27-31
12 For as with the human body which is a unity ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1-2, 3, 4, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 7:11-17
11 It happened that soon afterwards he went to a town ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 16th, 2014 Image

St. Cornelius
September 16: Cornelius whose feast day is September 16th. A Roman priest, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter